[ISEA2002] Artist Statement: Martin Rieser – Understanding Echo

Artist Statement

The installation creates a responsive environment using a combination of still digital imagery and projected video clips. The installation is controlled by an infrared sensitive video camera, a strong infrared light source and software which detects audience movement within three pre-programmed zones around the central projection area. The installation requires 4 metres of ceiling height and a room space of 7 metres x 7 metres approximately. The software used was custom written in Java by Simon Yuill, controlling a fast hard disk and data projector. The projector is mounted directly above the “pool”. Via infrared sensing, software detected audience presence in any one of three zones: Distant, Intermediate and Intimate and reacts by playing a corresponding projection into the pool (either a white disk or a real pool of water). The anticipated movement of more than one audience member is compensated for by the logic of the programme. Each video fragment is coded for audience distance and movement within a zone and is triggered by pre-programmed anticipated patterns of audience activity. The projected video fragments change without obvious repetition over a 40 minute cycle.

  • Martin Rieser is┬áSenior Lecturer in Digital Media at Bath Spa University College, formerly at Napier University, Edinburgh and the University of the West of England, Bristol. Director “Media Myth & Mania” for “Silver to Silicon” CD ROM. Interactive exhibitions include, “Understanding Echo” (Cheltenham Festival 2000/ Watershed 2002), and “Labyrinth” (F-Stop 1997), “Screening the Virus” (1996 ArtAids) “Electronic Forest” (1900-91 Prema). Curated “The Electronic Print” (Arnolfini, 1989). Co-editor: New Screen Media: Cinema/Art/Narrative (British Film Institute, London and Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, 2002). He has been involved with digital media as an electronic artist since 1981.